In 2009, the Wandsworth Secondary School Librarians Group decided to launch their very own Book Award for the borough. At that time, many of the secondary schools ‘shadowed’ the Carnegie Book Award, the most prestigious national children’s book award. However, there was frustration among students and librarians that although they were shadowing the Carnegie, students really had no influence over what books were included on the shortlist and ultimately which book won the award. Often, students were not keen on the shortlisted books and the books that they did like did not win the award.
The Fabulous Book Award or FAB as it is locally known is a completely student led award. Students (with a little help from their school librarians) put forward nominations for a longlist which is published in October. Students then vote for the books that they would like to see on the shortlist. The shortlist is published in early December and students read as many books as they can from the shortlist over the next few months. In March, a final vote is taken from students for their favourite book, culminating in an end event/ceremony in March where the winner of the FAB Award is announced. This event is always attended by at least 2-3 of the authors on the shortlist which makes the event even more special for the students who have been reading the books.
Criteria for nominations for the longlist are children’s/teenage fiction books published in paperback during the previous year. The award has been designed to be both inclusive and to give students a voice in the world of literature. As a consequence, our long and shortlists always contain a wide range of books which appeal to a diverse pool of Wandsworth students.
Check out the previous winners of the FAB Book Award…
2010 Numbers by Rachel Ward
2011 My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey
2012 Boy’s Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman
2013 Blood Red Road by Moira Young
2014 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2015 Say Her Name by James Dawson
2016 7 Days by Eve Ainsworth
2017 Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield
2018 One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
2019 We Are The Dead by Nadia Attia
A Girl Called Forest by Ayesha Braganza
2020 There’s a Tiger on the Train! by Mariesa Dulak
2021 Djinn-touched by Narjas Zatat